Thursday, December 10, 2015

Can You Go To Jail For Debt?

Until the mid-19th century, many people were imprisoned for delinquent debts.  Similar to today's workhouses, you could lose your freedom until the debt was paid off.   Debtors prisons were abolished long ago, but there are still are ways that you can go to jail for unpaid debt.

If you are held in contempt of court, you can go to jail.  It’s not as hard for this to happen as you might think.  If a creditor sues you and obtains a court determination that you owe money (called a "judgment""), and you can't or won't pay, then the creditor may send you a demand for disclosure of your income, your bank accounts, and property.  Or the creditor may subpoena you for a deposition to give sworn testimony regarding these matters.  The creditor wants this information so that it knows how to garnish your wages, levy your bank accounts, and seize your property.  If you don't respond with the information, then you may receive an "order to show cause" at a court hearing as to why you should not be held in contempt of court for failing to cooperate.  If you don't then show up at the hearing with the information, the judge may enter a bench warrant for your arrest.  The purpose of the arrest warrant is not to punish you, it is to force you to give the creditor and the court the information regarding your income and assets.  It wouldn't be uncommon to be arrested on a Friday and spend the weekend in jail until you are brought before a judge on Monday to testify as to your income and property. 

If you need to file bankruptcy, save yourself a lot of misery and do it before matters reach this point. When you file a bankruptcy petition, you are protected by the automatic bankruptcy stay against collection efforts and you don't need to worry about being held in contempt of court.

For more information regarding your specific situation, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 or at for a consultation.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

HOLIDAZZLE - Holiday Fun!


It's FREE Holiday FUN!
Loring Park - Nov. 27th - Dec. 20th
Thursdays and Fridays - 5pm - 9pm
Saturdays and Sundays - 11am - 9pm

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bentleyville "Tour of Lights"

Nov 21, 2015 - Dec 27, 2015 - FREE ADMISSION
HOURS: SUN - THURS 5:00 - 9:00 PM; FRI & SAT 5:00 - 10:00 PM
Come see Bayfront Festival Park on the shores of Lake Superior as it has been transformed into America's largest free walk through light show!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Poor credit is very costly, because it means high interest rates for car loans, credit cards, and mortgages.  There is no reason for you to live with poor credit.  Bankruptcy and can help.

While it is possible to have a credit score of over 800, a credit score of at least 720 is considered great credit.  A score of 720 or above is all you need to get the best interest rates on car loans, boat loans, mortgages, and credit cards.  If you would like to learn everything you need to know to get a credit score of 720 or above, visit this web site:

Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald of is happy to announce that we have entered into a business relationship that allows us to provide our clients with a subscription to FREE of charge.  720 Credit Score gives you the tools to rebuild your credit score after bankruptcy.  This program will give you the tools to get great credit.  Although 720 Credit Score charges $1,000.00 for its program, I am able to offer the program for FREE to my clients.  Contact me today for more information!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BooFest 2015 - St Paul on Grand Ave.

BooFest 2015
Mark your calenders for Saturday, October 10, 2015
There's something for everyone - bring the entire family!   - See more at:
Mark your calenders for Saturday, October 10, 2015
There's something for everyone - bring the entire family!   - See more at:
Mark your calenders for Saturday, October 10, 2015
There's something for everyone - bring the entire family!   - See more at:
Grand Avenue's Annual Fall Celebration
October 10, 2015 - See more at:
Mark you calendars for Saturday, Oct. 10th!
There's something for the whole family!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ValleySCARE - Halloween 2015!

Valleyfair transforms into ValleySCARE
"During the fall, the fun takes a terrifying turn as Valleyfair transforms into ValleySCARE, the upper Midwest’s largest Halloween attraction. With more than 75 rides, attractions and entertainment acts, there is something to satisfy everyone’s devilish desire."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Medical Bankruptcy

A 2007 Harvard study found that nearly 70% of bankruptcy cases are related to medical issues.  With today's high deductibles, the situation hasn't improved.   Illness can mean time off of work and reduced income.  Bankruptcy eliminates medical debt, but only the medical bills that are owed as of the date of filing your bankruptcy petition.  If you are currently running up medical bills you have a couple of bankruptcy options: You can wait until your medical problems are over and then file a Chapter 7 case.  If you can't wait that long, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and gain protection from your creditors until you are done incurring the medical debt.  At that point, you may be able to convert your case to Chapter 7 and include all of the medical debt owed at that point.

For more information regarding your specific situation, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 or at for a consultation.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Best Free Labor Day Events In Minnesota

Best Free Labor Day Events In Minnesota

Start planning your holiday now, as Labor Day is coming up on Sept. 7, 2015. Here are five free parades, picnics, concerts and festivals occurring in Minnesota over the long weekend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Student Loans in Bankruptcy

In order to eliminate student loans in bankruptcy, it is necessary to sue the lender and prove that it would be an "undue hardship" to be required to repay the loan.  The courts have interpreted this requirement stringently, making it difficult for most borrowers to eliminate their student loans in bankruptcy.  

In March 2015, President Obama directed the US Department of Education and other federal agencies to develop clear standards as to when a person would be considered to have an undue hardship.  This would be beneficial, because people who met such standards could file their lawsuit and not have to worry that it would be opposed.  This would significantly decrease the cost of bringing a lawsuit to prove undue hardship and many deserving people could then eliminate their debts through bankruptcy.  Unfortunately, the US Department of Education forgot who they are working for and instead gave the green light to student loan lenders to aggressively fight student loan hardship discharges.  I urge everyone to let their Congressmen and Senators know how they feel about this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

LET'S EAT! Minnesota State Fair, Aug 27th - Sept 7th

Minnesota State Fair heats up with 50 new foods for 2015
August 27th - September 7th, 2015
The Great Minnesota Get-Together is about to get a lot spicier, thanks to the advent of more than 50 new foods.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


When credit cards, bank loans, medical bills and other debts become seriously delinquent, the creditors usually send them to a collection agency first.  If the collection agency can't collect the debt, then it may go to a collections lawyer who will sue to collect the debt.  You will know that you have been sued in Minnesota when you receive a Summons and Complaint in District Court or a Complaint in Conciliation Court.  

When you are served with a lawsuit, it is like a slap in the face!  Please don't panic.  There are things that you can do.  If you dispute the debt in a District Court case, you will probably need a lawyer to defend you.  If you dispute a Conciliation Court, you can go to the hearing yourself and explain your reason for disputing the debt to the judge.  If you don't dispute the debt and your debts are otherwise manageable, you could call the collections lawyer and try to make payment arrangements.  If you have other debts, it might make sense to file bankruptcy instead.  A bankruptcy will stop a lawsuit to collect a debt, even after the lawsuit has started.  If the creditor has already obtained a court judgment against you, bankruptcy can stop the creditor from ever trying to collect the judgment against you.

For more information regarding your specific situation, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 or at for a consultation. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Scott County Fair

Scott County Fair
Jul 22, 2015 - Jul 26, 2015
The best 5 days of summer are filled with activities to suit everyone. Come see MIRACLE OF BIRTH, championship bull rides, tractor pulls, draft horse shows, demolition derby, motocross, stock shows and more. Musical entertainment and GREAT carnival.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What’s New About Getting a Mortgage After Bankruptcy

The waiting period for obtaining an FHA or VA mortgage is two years after you receive your Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge.  It normally takes about three months to get your discharge after we file your bankruptcy petition with the court.  However, there is a new rule that allows you to obtain an FHA or VA mortgage as little as 12 months after you receive your discharge, if you can show that the bankruptcy was caused by extenuating circumstances beyond your control and if you have since exhibited a documented ability to manage your financial affairs in a responsible manner.  

For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is possible to obtain an FHA mortgage after you have made one year of timely payments under your bankruptcy payment plan.  You must also have permission to enter into the mortgage loan from the bankruptcy court.

For more information regarding your specific situation, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 or at for a consultation. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Keeping Track of Companies You Owe Money To

When you run into financial problems and bills begin to mount, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of what companies you owe money to. You might receive calls from multiple collection companies and they often do not identify who they are collecting for. In order to eliminate your debts in bankruptcy it is important to list all of your creditors.

What can you do? You can start by pulling credit reports.  There are three nationwide credit reporting bureaus and you can pull free credit reports from all three credit bureaus at  Credit reports will typically show credit card debts, bank loans, and other types of debts with financial institutions. The credit report may show collection agencies that have purchased delinquent debts or are collecting them on behalf of another company. Credit reports typically do not show medical debts unless they are with a collection agency.

If you come to see me, I can pull a three bureau merged report for you.  If you are not sure what medical debts you have, you may want to call the hospital or other medical provider and ask them for the amounts owed.  If you have medical insurance you could contact your insurance company. It may be able to give you a list of what amounts were covered by insurance and what amounts you still are responsible for.  When you have this information, you have the ammunition you need to eliminate your debts and get a fresh start.

Monday, April 20, 2015


You might be worried about what friends and relatives will think of you if you file for bankruptcy protection.  You can relax.  Your friends and relatives want what is best for you.  For example, one of my clients was borrowing heavily from his parents in order to keep up with his credit card debt.  His brother suggested to him that it would be better to file bankruptcy and eliminate his credit card debt, instead of borrowing money from his parents that he might never be able to repay.  He filed a bankruptcy case and eliminated all of his credit card debt.  He didn't lose anything that he owned.  He had a lot of fears about bankruptcy that all turned out to be false. 

Many of my clients are referred to me by concerned friends and relatives.  I have had parents bring me their sons and daughters. I have had sons and daughters bring their parents. Sometimes its hard to see a solution when debt problems mount.  The worry and stress can paralyze you.  A concerned friend or relative can sometimes take a more detached view and help you see that there can be a reasonable solution.   Many times, the solution is bankruptcy. Don't let fear stop you from solving your debt problems.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Discover the Difference Between “Debt Management Plans” and Filing Bankruptcy

Credit counseling companies were originally created by the banks to collect debts for them.  They offer "debt management plans" where by people can consolidate their debts and pay them off in full over a period of five years.  They try to negotiate lower interest rates for the credit cards so that they can be paid off over a reasonable period of time.

Even though they may be able to reduce the interest rates on some credit cards, the monthly payment under a debt management plan is usually larger than the combined minimum payments on all of a person's credit cards.  For this reason, debt management plans are not feasible for most people who are struggling financially.   They offer budgeting advice that can sometimes be useful.  However, the advice is frequently to get a second job (i.e., work yourself to death).   It is very difficult to get credit while you are in a debt management plan.  One couple who paid into a debt management plan came to see Minnesota bankruptcy attorney Greg Wald after they made payments under the plan for two years.  They wanted to buy a house, but the mortgage company told them they could not have a mortgage because they were still in a debt management plan.  The mortgage company told them it was too bad they didn't just file a bankruptcy instead.  The FHA will qualify people for mortgages two years after they complete a bankruptcy case.  They realized at that point that they made a big mistake and eliminated their debt immediately with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Avoid a “BIG” mistake!  Contact Minnesota bankruptcy attorney Gregory Wald at (952) 921-5802 or visit them on the web at  Discover the difference between “debt management plans” and filing bankruptcy before it’s too late.

Debt Management Plans VS Filing Bankruptcy

The banks have spent millions of dollars on lobbyists and were able to get Congress to pass a law that everyone who wants to file bankruptcy must first complete a briefing (counseling session) with a consumer credit counselor.  If the idea was to steer people into debt management plans, then the new law hasn't worked out well for the bankers.  Almost no one who completes the pre-bankruptcy briefing goes on to enter into a debt management plan. However, the counseling session is not all bad news. Many people do feel that they received useful information on budgeting and saving money from the counseling session.

Avoid a “BIG” mistake!  Contact Minnesota bankruptcy attorney Gregory Wald at (952) 921-5802 or visit them on the web at  Discover the difference between “debt management plans” and filing bankruptcy while you are still able to make an informed decision between the two processes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Can a Person Filing Bankruptcy Exclude Debts They Want to Pay?

I am often asked whether a person filing bankruptcy can exclude debts that they want to pay.  When you file a bankruptcy petition, you must give the court a complete list of your debts.  You are not allowed to leave anything off.  However, it is possible to repay debts that you have listed in your bankruptcy.  You might not be required to repay the debt, but you still can pay it voluntarily if you wish.  For instance, if you have a car loan or home mortgage, you can continue to pay these debts in order to keep your home or car.  If you have a debt to a relative, you can repay them what ever is left owing to them after you complete your bankruptcy case.   Occasionally, a creditor might request that you sign a "reaffirmation agreement".  A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement that you will not discharge (eliminate) a debt in your bankruptcy case and that you will be legally bound to pay it. Your attorney can help you decide if a reaffirmation agreement is a good idea.